Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

posed that its bus. should be absorbed into this new Co., and the arrangement was carried out, as already set forth in our hist. of that Co.

CITY OF LONDON FIRE.-A co. under this title was projected in 1861, soon after the great fire in Tooley St., and when considerable excitement prevailed in the City regarding the prems. for mercantile risks, which had been suddenly and largely increased in consequence of that calamity. Mr. Stephen Sleigh was the promoter of the Co., apparently under the patronage of Mr. Wm. Henry Peek, the well-known tea and coffee merchant. This project afterwards merged into the Commercial Union, which was set on foot a few days later. CITY OF LONDON AND GENERAL FIRE AND LIFE INS. Co., LIM., projected in 1863, with a cap. of £1,000,000, in 20,000 shares of £50. Mr. A. H. Gunn was the promoter of the Co., which was dissolved almost before it was created, under the following circumstances. The shares of the Co., when the project was first put on the market, were "beared" considerably. The promoters, by way of retaliation, took steps to improve the market. A reaction set in, and the shares came to be quoted at a considerable prem. The applications immediately became very numerous, reaching in the aggregate 23, 182, against which, however, the directors only allotted 13,652. By this means many of those who had sold the shares on a speculative account got none allotted, and had to go into the market to purchase shares for delivery. This caused the price still further to advance, until at length the prem. reached £5 on shares having 1 paid by way of deposit, or in other words, the shares reached 500 p. c. prem. A Mr. Jamieson, of Aberdeen, had been called in to work the market into this form, and he became somewhat rapacious in his demands upon the promoters. They did not comply, and he took some action by applying for a summons against the promoters, which however he did not obtain. But enough transpired to give the "bears a hope of escaping from the dilemma in which they found themselves. They initiated criminal proceedings against the directors and promoters. The directors backed out, and left the fighting with the promoters. Mr. Gunn made a vigorous resistance. He pub. a "Statement," in which there occurs this passage: Speculation had taken place to a large extent in our shares. Our stock was rising, and on some of the operators who had contracted to sell and deliver the fulfilment of their engagement on the settling day would have inflicted severe, perhaps ruinous, loss. It became a matter of life or death, of bankruptcy or solvency, with some of them, whether the settlement could or could not be deferred. It was their interest to put it off-to put it off if they could for ever. There were others rowing in the same boat whom it might not ruin, but unpleasantly mulct-men of influence and accredited for wealthmen of financial and official position in the City.

There is no doubt this is a true picture. The large attendance of City magistrates at the hearing, and the commotion among them, led careful observers to remark that they did not seem to be all there for the purposes of justice. In the end it was announced that the Co. would be dissolved, and that consequently there would be no allotment of shares. This appeared exactly to suit the views of the more clamorous, and so the embryo co. disappeared from the scene.

CITY OF LONDON LIFE ASSU. So., founded in 1845, with an authorized cap. of £250,000, in 5000 shares of £50, "for general assu. on lives and survivorships, the purchase and grant of annu., the purchase of life interests and reversions, endow. for widows and children, loans and accumulative and self-protecting assu.' The greater portion of the cap. was subs. The orig. prosp. said:

[ocr errors]

The City of Lond. L. Assu. So. has been estab. for the purpose of uniting all the advantages presented by other L. assu. offices, with certain plans of a peculiar nature, of mut. interest to the assurer and the assured; and, with a view of affording facilities in every department of bus., upon principles of true economy, limited only by a strict regard to security. . . . Among the peculiarities of the system adopted by this office are: 1st. A computation of prems. founded not upon local, imperfect, or theoretical data, but upon the actual experience of a considerable majority of the most important offices in existence; and a graduation of charges for management, etc., equitably adjusted to every age.... 4th. A new and valuable extension of the principle of L. assu., by which deposits are made either suitable for an assu., or may be reclaimed at any period.

Among the privileges enjoyed by the assured are: 1. A full proportion of the profits of the office, by the mutually assured; and a parti. with the proprietors generally in their control over the management. 2. A commutation of the prospective benefits of the mut. branch, effected by a proportionate reduction of the rates in the proprietary scale of prems.

General Features.-After a proportionate contribution towards the int. upon the subs. cap. and the general charges of the estab., the whole of the profits arising from the mut. assu. will be triennially divided, after the first 3 years, among the assu. in that department. All other profits to be added in completion of subs. cap. Foreign lives assu. and annu. granted to foreigners under special con

tracts....

There was to be a fund, "under suitable regulations, raised in accordance with a distinct set of T., for the benefit of the widows and children of naval and military officers, and of clerks in government and municipal offices." A later prosp. announced". 'self-protecting assurance and "indisputable pol."

In the first instance, Mr. Rainbow was Consulting Act. ; afterwards Mr. G. J. Farrance. Mr. Edward Frederick Leeks was Sec. of the Co. The bus. of the Co. was very limited in its early years. It reported one death from cholera in 1849, ins. for £1000. At the end of 1851 the total insurances on the books amounted to £265,827, yielding in prems. £9235. In 1852 a bonus was declared equivalent to 20 p.c. cash on the prems. paid on pol. of 5 years' standing. The total pol. issued up to that date were 1041, ins. £383,578.

In 1851 the Co. took over the bus. of the Peoples L.; in 1853 the bus. of the County Mutual; in 1856 the bus. of the Deposit and General, and also the bus. of the Protestant L. In 1857 the bus. of the Absolute, and also that of the Observer. In 1858 it took over the bus. of the Achilles. In 1859 its entire bus. was trans. to the Eagle. It was most fortunate for the pol.-holders of these united offices to find themselves ultimately enjoying the advantages of such a solid and advantageous asso. This was one of the first of the modern offices which commenced to acquire the bus. of other cos. by amalg. or purchase. CITY OF LONDON LOAN, ANNUITY, AND GENERAL INS. Co.-A Co. under this title was projected in 1845—the same year that the City of Lond. Life was founded. We presume that it was the rival counterpart, which nearly always appears, and is generally the result ⚫ either of a split between promoters or of a traitor in the camp. Sometimes promoters themselves regis. a similar name under which they intend to trade, with a view of securing a complete monopoly in the title of their enterprise.

CITY OF MANCHESTER INVESTMENT Co. was projected in Manchester in 1855, for granting loans in connexion with life ins. It never reached the stage of having any money to lend; and-being unable to borrow any-fell through!

CITY AND PROVINCIAL INS. Co.-A project under this title was regis. in 1861. We believe it had been previously regis. as the Britannia F. The promoter was Mr. Alfred T. Jay. It did not go forward.

CIVIL stands for the opposite of anything military, political, ecclesiastical, or criminal. CIVIL COMMOTION. - An insurrection or tumultuous rising of the people for the purposes of specific or general mischief, but falling short of rebellion to overthrow the government. It is a usual condition in F. pols.—and a prudent and necessary one-that the office shall not be liable for loss occasioned by Civil Commotion, riots, etc. Owners of property, however, are not left without a remedy in such cases; this remedy is against the Hundred in which the outbreak shall arise. The liability of the Hundred for damage done to property is very ancient, and may be traced back to the time when every community was responsible for the acts of its members. It was bound to maintain its own peace; and if it failed to do so, it was punished for its default by being compelled to compensate the damage done by those whom it could not, or would not, put down.

The early riot acts embodied legislation upon this subject-especially that of 1714-the I Geo. I. stat. 2, c. 5. There has, however, been some modern legislation upon the subject, and there are also several important cases in the law-books.

In 1726 the Sun F. office introduced into its conditions of fire ins. the following words: "No loss or damage to be paid on fire happening by any invasion, foreign enemy, Civil Commotion, or any military or usurped power whatever." Several other offices had a similar clause, with the exception of the words "Civil Commotion."

In 1780 Gordon's [Lord George Gordon] "No Popery" riots occurred in Lond., and a considerable destruction of property took place. In reference to the property so destroyed several actions came before the Courts, which we shall have to notice.

In the case of Langdale v. Mason and others [Managers of the Sun F. office], that Co. was in the same year (1780) sued under one of its pol. for payment of the sum ins. on a house and premises burned by the rioters. The Co. pleaded its condition above given; and after an able summing up by Lord Mansfield, the jury found for the defendants on the ground of the exemption in their pol.

In the case of Mason v. Sainsbury, which came before the King's Bench in 1782, the facts were as follows. It was an action under the Riot Act (1 Geo. I. c. 5, s. 6), to recover damages sustained by the demolition of a house in the riots of 1780. There was a verdict for the plaintiff, with £259 damages, subject to the opinion of the Court on a case, which stated that the plaintiff had ins. the house in the Hand-in-Hand Fire Office, which had paid the loss; and that this action was brought against the Hundred in the plaintiff's name, and with his consent, for the benefit and indemnity of the ins. office. When the case was first heard, it was contended, for the plaintiff, that there were a variety of cases like the present in which an action might be maintained in the name of the person originally interested. On its rehearing upon the points reserved, the question mainly turned upon the one point, viz. whether, as the plaintiff had already received a satisfaction, this action could be maintained against the Hundred on behalf of the insurers. The Court was unanimously of opinion that such a right existed.

In the case of Lond. Assu. Corp. v. Sainsbury, heard in 1783, the facts were as follow: The ins. office, having paid the insured the amount of the loss sustained by him in consequence of a demolishing by rioters, sued the hundreders in their own names. Held, by Lord Mansfield and Mr. Justice Buller (Justices Willes and Ashurst dissenting), that the ins. office was not entitled to recover. This objection appears to be only one of form. The insured had gone against the county for his entire losses, which were much beyond the sum insured; he had recovered (Langdale v. Kennett, 1781), except that the jury deducted from the total loss the sum received from the ins., and thus left the ins. co. without remedy, as a second action could not be maintained.

We presume after these decisions all the F. offices introduced the words "Civil Commotions" into their exemptions from liability. We shall revert to this subject under FIRE INS., CONDITIONS OF.

In the case of Clark v. the Inhabitants of the Hundred of Blything, before the Courts in 1823, the facts were as follow: The owner of certain stacks of hay and corn, which were maliciously set on fire, had received the amount of his loss from an ins. office. But it was Held, by the Court, that he might nevertheless maintain an action in his own name against the Hundred under the 9 Geo. I. c. 22.

This last-named case is important as showing that in cases of incendiary fires the ins. office may fall back upon the Hundred for indemnity. [INCENDIARY FIRES.]

In 1827 the law upon the subject was again brought under statutory regulations by 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 31, wherein the liability of the Hundred is now defined, and the proceedings regulated. Sec. 2 enacts that if any church, etc., or any house, stable, etc., or any building or erection used in carrying on any trade or manufacture, etc., shall be feloniously demolished, pulled down, or destroyed, wholly or in part, by any persons riotously and tumultuously assembled together, in every such case the inhabitants of the hundred, wapentake, ward or other district in the nature of a hundred, by whatever name it shall be denominated, in which any of the said offences shall be committed, shall be liable to yield full compensation to the person or persons damnified by the offence, not only for the damage so done to any of the subjects hereinbefore enumerated, but also for any damage which may at the same time be done by any such offenders to any fixture, or furniture, or goods whatsoever, in any church, etc., or house, etc., or other buildings or erections aforesaid.

In order to obtain the benefits of this statute, the injured party must, within seven days from the commission of the offence, go before a Justice of the Peace having jurisdiction over the place where the offence was committed, and state upon oath the names of the offenders, if known, and submit to the examination of such Justice touching the circumstances of the offence, and become bound in recognizances to prosecute the offenders when apprehended. And every such action must be commenced within three months after the commission of the offence. Where less than £30 is claimed, the Justice may hear and determine the same.

Process against the Hundred is to be served on the High Constable. If the plaintiff recovers, the Sheriff, on receipt of the writ of execution, is to make out a warrant directing the Treasurer of the County to pay the amount.

It has been held that it shall be sufficient to constitute a riotous and tumultuous assembly if any one of His Majesty's subjects was terrified; and it has been held that the beginning to demolish a house, etc., within the statute must be such as to satisfy the jury that the ultimate object of the rioters was to demolish the whole of it.-Rex v. Ashton.

The latest enactment upon the subject appears to have been in 1861-the 24 & 25 Vict. c. 97; but it does not appear to vary from that of 1827. The Fenian outrages of 1867 and 1868 drew attention to the law upon this subject, but no fresh enactments took place. Plate-glass ins. cos., cattle ins. cos., and carriage ins. cos. should introduce into their pol. conditions protecting them from the consequences of destruction and injury by reason of Civil Commotion, naval or military operations, foreign invasion, usurped power, etc.

In all those cases where the insured have a primary right against third parties who have been the authors of the injury, either through negligence or more culpable misconduct, not amounting to felony, the insurers, on making good the loss, are entitled to enforce the remedy of the assured, and in their name to recoup themselves for their expenditure. The contract of ins. is treated as an indemnity, and the insurer as a surety, who is entitled to all the remedies and securities of the assured, and to stand in his place. If the insurers were first liable, payment by them would be a satisfaction, and relieve the wrong-doer; but this is not so, for the latter is first liable. The assured have indeed a double remedy: if they pursue that against the wrong-doer, and recover compensation, the insurers escape; but if they choose to enforce the claim against the insurers in the first instance, the latter are entitled to use the name of the assured in an action to recover the money which they have paid.—Bunyon, Law of Fire Ins. CIVIL LAW. That rule of action which every particular nation, commonwealth or city has estab. peculiarly for itself-more properly distinguished by the name of Municipal Law. The term "Civil Law" is now more generally applied to that which the Romans compiled from the law of nature and nations, and which, correctly speaking, should be called the "Roman Civil Law."

Most, if not all, the Maritime Codes now existing were founded more or less upon the Roman Civil Law. "There being (says Sir Robert Wiseman, in his Law of Laws) a necessity of another law, besides the particular law of each country, the Civil Law has been chosen by most foreign States; because it has from the time of the Romans run through all nations, and has been so generally applauded, and allowed of by all, that now at last it has purchased to itself the honour to be styled Jus Gentium, the law of nations, or Jus Commune, the common law of all Europe, because it hath more in it of the law of nature than any other law of man."

Owing to this common base, there is a harmony in the law of nations which has tended greatly to facilitate commerce, and with commerce maritime ins.

VOL. 1.

36

CIVIL SERVICE MINERS AND GENERAL LIFE ASSU. Co., founded in 1854, and commenced bus. apparently in connexion with the Ancient Order of Foresters Freehold Land So.; but almost before the asso. had commenced operations, its effects were disposed of by the hammer of the then well-known Mr. Furber-an auctioneer, too frequently engaged in selling off the effects of unsuccessful ins. asso. The execution creditor was the upholsterer who had supplied the office furniture. CIVILIZED LIFE.-It has been the subject of much discussion how far the refinements of Civilized Life tend either to the multiplication of the human race, its happiness, or its longevity. We do not intend to enter upon the discussion of these questions here, but content ourselves with the following sensible passage from Dr. Price's Observations, etc. :

One of the most obvious divisions of the state of mankind is into the wild and the civilized state. In the former man is a creature, rude, ignorant, and savage, running about the woods, and living by hunting, or on the spontaneous productions of the earth. In this state the means of subsistence being scarce, and a large quantity of ground necessary to support a few, there can never be any considerable increase. In the latter state, man is a creature fixed on one spot, employing himself in cultivating the ground, and enjoying the advantages of science, arts, and civil government. Of this last state there are many different degrees or stages, from the most simple to the most refined and luxurious. The first or the simple stages of civilization are those which favour most the increase and the happiness of mankind. For in these states agriculture supplies plenty of the means of subsistence; the blessings of a natural or simple life are enjoyed; property is equally divided; the wants of men are few, and soon satisfied; and families are easily provided for. On the contrary, in the refined states of civilization property is engrossed, and the natural equality of men subverted; artificial necessaries without number are created; great towns propagate contagion and licentiousness; luxury and vice prevail; and together with them disease, poverty, venality, and oppression. And there is a limit at which, when the corruptions of civil society arrive, all liberty, virtue, and happiness must be lost, and complete ruin follow.

Those who understand Dr. Price's peculiar views of the degrading tendencies of cities will understand the dark shades of the preceding picture. We shall have to revert to the subject under TOWNS, LIFE IN.

CLABON, C. B., Sec. of Law Rev. Int. So. since 1856.

CLAIM [from the Latin clamo, to cry out].-To ask as a right; to demand as due; to request authoritatively; to require; to become entitled to a thing; to derive a right. -Worcester.

In Ins. the making a "Claim" is technically understood as an intimation that the event or contingency insured against has occurred; or where several events or contingencies are insured against, that at least one of them has occurred. It forms a necessary condition of every ins. pol. that any claim made under it shall be verified by some proof of the occurrence which gives rise to the claim. Some pol. state the exact nature of the proof to be furnished. Others only intimate that “reasonable proof” will be required. There are several stages through which every claim must pass, varying more or less with the nature of the bus. We proceed to enumerate these:

1. NOTICE OF CLAIM-that is notice by claimant to the insurer (underwriter, or asso.). 2. PROOF OF CLAIM-that is proof to be furnished by the insured to insurer.

3. ADMISSION OF CLAIM-that is admission by the insurer that the insured has substantiated his claim.

4. PAYMENT OF CLAIM-the actual handing over of the cash and the receipt of the proper discharges to the insurer.

5. RESISTANCE OF CLAIM-that is either by letting the claimant take his course at law, or by the insurer giving notice of arbitration.

We shall treat of the subject as briefly and as clearly as possible under each of these heads.

(1). Notice of Claim.-It may be regarded as of the essence of the contract of ins. that timely notice that is to say, that the earliest possible notice-be given to the insurer of any casualty having happened by which it is supposed a claim has arisen. Many pol. name a specific time within which notice must be sent, or failing such notice any benefit otherwise accruing is forfeited. Others simply say "forthwith" or "immediately"; but the intention is in all cases the same, viz. that the insurer shall have early notice, in order that he may enter into or upon such inquiry as he deems important to his interests. In the case of Fire loss, the necessity for early notice, in view of salvage, etc., appears obvious. In Cattle ins., in Glass ins., in Hail ins., it is equally obvious. In Fidelity ins. time is frequently of the utmost consequence. But in the case of Life ins., and yet more of Accident ins., the injury resulting to the office from delay can hardly be atoned for. If the cause of death requires to be investigated through the aid of a coroner's inquest, that must take place before burial; and where a post-mortem becomes necessary, that also must be made before burial, the alternative being the unpleasant one of an application to the Sec. of State for power to exhume. Regarding Accident ins. more particularly, we have already shown, under CAUSE OF DEATH, some of the reasons which necessitate prompt notice. Even in non-fatal injuries the necessity of prompt medical advice, or special treatment, themselves suggest the injurious consequences which may arise from delay.

In the case of Marine ins. the distance at which the casualty frequently happens interposes difficulties. Yet the necessity for prompt notice to the underwriter is as great as in most of the other classes of ins., and in some respects even more so, as great injustice

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

may be committed by other persons obtaining priority of information. The early Marine Ins. Ordin., quoted in this work, contain some very curious provisions with respect to the minimum rate at which the information is to travel.

It must be remembered, as a rule of vast importance, that notice to an agent is not notice to the principal. It is especially so in the case of ins. asso.

(2). Proof of Claim.-The proof to be furnished in support of a claim must of necessity depend greatly upon the nature of the ins. Its form is generally more or less fully indicated in the pol., or its conditions. In Marine ins. there is a certain routine process of placing the papers connected with the claim before an average-adjuster. We shall give a list of the documents required to be placed before the average-adjuster in a later part of this art. It is sufficient to state here, that, beyond the actual loss or damage, regard has to be taken of what is subject to "General Average," and what comes under "Particular Average," while the Warranties" of the pol., and the questions of "Seaworthiness," Deviation," "Abandonment," or Salvage, may, any or all, demand

consideration.

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

As to Fire ins., there is the first question of wilful or accidental origin; next, whether the fire has arisen from causes within the pol. or otherwise; also proof of the actual property destroyed, and of its value; and, finally, is it a "Specific" or an Average" pol. Incidentally there will be questions of "Over-insurance," "Double Ins." " "Civil Commotion," etc., etc.

Regarding Life pol. the main considerations are, first, the actual " cause of death,"— does it indicate any "misstatement" or "concealment" at the time the ins. was obtained; then, verification of age; next, had the ins. entered upon a prohibited occupation; or, finally, did he die within permitted limits of residence or travel. The question of "insurable interest" has sometimes to be kept in mind.

In Accident ins. the question of "cause of death" is of the most vital importanceaccident must be the direct and sole cause of death, and all diseases and personal infirmities (not previously stated, and specially ins. against) must be excluded. Next, was the insured following the "occupation" or occupations against the risks of which he insured, and no other. The question of the "limits of age" also arises-these limits are generally from 18 to 60 at the time of ins.; and the limits of travel; and also whether the death has arisen from "General accident," "Railway accident," or on the " 'Ocean," have likewise to be regarded.

As to Cattle ins., the questions of "substitution" and of "value" are the primary elements; but wilful exposure, improper treatment, as well as the actual cause of death, have to be regarded.

In Hail ins. the description of the crop, its acreage and value, with perhaps the incidental point of ownership, seem to be the main points involved.

In Fidelity ins. the questions of "amount," "time" within which loss has arisen, the institution of the stipulated "tests of accuracy" (if any), and of collusion, either in the peculation, or in the escape of the delinquent, all have to be considered in relation to the proof of a claim.

In Glass ins. the "identity " and the "value" are the primary considerations; while the "cause" of the breakage has an important bearing (in regard to the office obtaining indemnity against the wrong-doer); and the time within which the damage has occurred. These are the most important practical points.

In Carriage Accident ins. the "cause of accident, and the value, both at time of ins. and at the time of the accident, are the main considerations. The cause of the accident, in relation to indemnity of the office by the wrong-doer; the question of value, in relation to the "average clause" in the pol. It is further necessary to confine the repairs to the actual injury occasioned.

(3). Admission of Claim.—This is a formal act of the underwriter or of the board of the co. on whom the claim is made, and which signifies that all the required proofs have been furnished. In the case of Marine ins. this process of admission is called the "settlement," and is signified by indorsement on the pol. In the other cases the notification is by letter, or sometimes a more formal document.

(4). Payment of Claim.-The payment of the claim is more or less remote from the period of admission of claim, according to the usage of the several branches of Ins. In Marine ins. formerly a month elapsed between "settlement" and "payment "; now, in consequence of increasing competition, claims are usually paid within a week; or, in the case of cos., at the next weekly board after "settlement." In Fire ins. the claims are usually paid at an early date after admission. The same may be said of most of the other branches of ins. except Life; here it is usual to pay at the end of three months [it was formerly in many cases 6 months], or more promptly on discount being allowed from the period of actual payment to the regulation time. In Accident ins. the non-fatal compensation is usually paid within a week after admission; the death claims at the end of 3 months, subject to discount for earlier payment, as in the case of Life ins. claims. Cases have arisen in which, in consequence of information subsequently received, even after formal admission of claim, payment has been withheld; and justly so.

It is an important point in relation to the payment of claims to see that the insurer

« AnteriorContinuar »